Q. What are Subterranean Termites?
Subterranean Termites are social insects that live in the ground in colonies. Each colony can contain hundreds of thousands of termites and can live up to 20 feet deep in the soil. Subterranean termites are the most common species of termites in Arizona. Believe it or not, Arizona has one of the highest populations of subterranean termites in the nation.

Most species of Subterranean Termites, as their name suggests, require contact with the soil as this is were they derive shelter and moisture which enables the colony to survive. Termite colonies are divided into three different castes which are briefly described as follows:

§ Worker Termites - The workers are the caste that can cause damage to your home. They are responsible for providing food and shelter for the colony and are usually creamy white in appearance. They construct shelter tubes that are used as pathways to bring food into the colony. These shelter tubes are the evidence that most property owners see when they suspect they may have a termite infestation.

§ Soldiers Termites - Soldiers provide security for the colony. Their job is to provide protection for foraging worker termites and the reproductive members of the colony.

§ Reproductive Termites - The reproductive caste of termites purpose is to create and maintain the population of the colony. The winged reproductive termites, also known as “Swarmers”, will leave the soil when conditions are ideal in an attempt to establish new colonies. In Arizona, swarming usually occurs after rainstorms in the summer months.

Q. Can termites damage my home?
Yes. If left untreated, termites are definitely capable of creating damage to a home. It is estimated that termites cause over $5 Billion worth of property damage every year. In a home, termites derive their nutrition from wood and other building products containing cellulose such as the paper backing on drywall. In addition to the structural components of a home, subterranean termites can also cause damage to its’ contents such as furniture, paper, books, artwork or any other item that contains cellulose. Fortunately, in most (but not all!) cases the dwellings occupants will see some sort of physical evidence that a termite infestation is present before structural damage has occurred.
Q. How do I know if I have termites?
Unlike other wood eating insects, subterranean termites do not leave a trail of powdery eaten wood. The most common sign that a subterranean termite infestation is present is the appearance of soil shelter tubes constructed by the worker caste. In Arizona, these will often appear first on the exterior foundation of the home or the interior foundation of a garage. In addition, they can also appear on the inside of the structure, especially near perimeter walls and areas where plumbing or electrical service enters the home. A secondary sign of infestation is the appearance of small holes generally less than 1/8th of an inch in diameter in the drywall material. Often times there will be particles of soil or drywall material falling out of this hole.
Q. Aren’t homes with concrete slabs termite-proof?
No. While termites cannot feed on concrete, stucco, or other non-organic materials, termites build mud tubes extending over concrete, brick, floor joists and other non-wood materials to reach their source. They can also enter the home through cracks in the concrete floor or around plumbing and electrical protrusions through the slab. Subterranean termites can enter a home through a gap as small as 1/32” to find a way back to their food source.
Q. If a termite tube is vacant, do I still have termites?
If a termite tube is vacant, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the infestation is inactive. Many times termites vacate sections of the tube to feed in other areas.
Q. How will J & S rid my home of termites?
Our treatment begins with a thorough inspection of your home to determine the best approach to effectively control the termites that are attacking your home. Each treatment is customized to your home based upon the results of the initial inspection. At J & S Pretreat, we believe that in most cases a conventional liquid treatment using Termidor is the best long term solution to controlling subterranean termite infestations. Most termite treatments can be completed within one day with little to no impact to our daily routine.
Q. What happens if I find termites after my home has been treated?
First of all, Call J & S and schedule an appointment. Due to the nature of how non-repellant termiticides work, and depending on the amount of termite pressure your home is experiencing, you may continue to see activity from 1 to 3 months after a treatment. In some cases, follow up spot treatments may be necessary. We at J&S Pretreat and Termite Control guarantee to return and retreat the affected areas at no charge to you during your warranty period.

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